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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  May 18, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PDT

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central asia. arthur selzburger said jill abrams had been in the public mi mistreating of colleagues. no word yet as to whether she will respond to her former boss' criticism. that's if for now. i'm christi paul. go make some great memories this sunday. "fareed zakaria gps" starts right now. this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. we will start today's show with timothy geithner, the former secretary of the treasury who is finally talking. why did he bail out the same banks that many blame for causing the global financial
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crisis? i will ask him. and drones. the united states still uses them in many places around the world, but now it seems everybody has a drone. former terror official witch ard clock on the frightening future of the robotic killing machines. also, in the internet age, is there something you wish you could hide? well, you're in luck. at least if you live in the european union. i'll explain and tell you about the conflict with freedom of speech. and is china becoming more nationalist, more capitalist, more democratic? what do the people of china really want? kevin osnose of the new yorker tells us. but first here's my take. president obama's pivot to asia has been widely praised.
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but many critics wishes he would infuse the policy with greater substance and energy. in fact, the administration has the opportunity to fill in one of the great missing pieces of that policy, a strategic relationship with the continent's second largest country, india, once a new government is formed in new delhi. but it will require both countries to make some major changes. the united states has to clear the air with the person who will be india's next prime minister, modi. modi has been shunned by u.s. officials for a decade. the george w. bush administration put him on a black list of sorts and denied him a visa to come to america. the visa issue is now irrelevant, because as head, he automatically gets a special visa. but the obama administration should go further and move to strengthen ties with him. the cold shoulder should be replaced with a warm embrace. first a few words to explain the
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black list and why, in my view, putting modi on it was arbitrary and excessive. until he becomes prime minister, he is head of the government in the state of good draw. he held that job in 2002 when fierce risings between hindus ask musli and muslims broke out. in that capacity he encouraged or did nothing to stop vigilante violence against muslims and police complicit with these riots. 1,000 people, almost all muslims, died. those accused of killing muslims have been minimal. it is a dark episode in india's history, and modi comes out of it tainted as the head of the state government at the time. but his own role does remain unclear. three indian investigations have
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cleared him of culpability, those these investigations have been criticized by human rights groups with credible concerns. here's the part that bothers me. modi is the only individual ever to have been denied a visa for religious freedom, which makes the board's decision look utterly arbitrary. why modi and not the prime minister of iraq? he heads a government that is deeply sectarian, has been accused of involvement with death squads and private killings and is certainly involved in the systematic persecution of sunnis in his country. yet far from being shunned, malachi has been received in two different administrations, the religious freedom, the very body that has seeked modi out, list countries of particular concern for their oppression of religious minorities. chief among them, saudi arabia,
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pakistan and iraq. not a single government official from any of these countries has ever been placed on a black list or denied a visa. when human rights issues are used in a blatantly selective manner, they rightly invite chargeshypocrisy. if the united states can shift their views with modi, modi can get over his problems with america. he will have to shift his posture on several issues. new delhi has been punching below its weight, so much so that the country has almost disappeared as a serious player in the region and the world. torn between its own anti-colonial postures and the reality of a rising china, india has been stuck. it has shied away from the kind of robust relationship with the united states that would help it economically, monetarily and politically. if the united states and india,
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two of the world's oldest dm democracie democracies, could gain a partnership, it would be best for the cause for democracy and human rights around the world. for more go to and read my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. january 27, 2009. the united states was suffering from the worst financial crisis since the great depression. and timothy geithner had just embarked on his first full day as secretary of the treasury. he boldly told president obama that they still had five financial bombs to defuse. lehman had exploded but fannie, freddie, aig, citigroup and bank of america was still ticking and in deep trouble, and they were
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bigger than lehman. the financial system as a whole was at risk of collapse. the question was, how to stop it. gooeithner recounts the extraordinary events in his new book "stress test: reflections on financial crises." it is part depp racating memoir and part decision to bail out the banks in 2009. we sat down to talk about it all. tim geithner, welcome. >> nice to see you. >> one of the things that will surprise people about this book is to learn some of the details about you, because you're sort of one of these blank slates under which people have projected whatever they want. >> some hopes and fears. >> geithner, the self-pro claimed backstage guy served as president of the new york reserve from 2003 to 2009. during the bush administration and the beginning of the obama
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white house. before that, geithner worked at the treasury department and the imf. besides a brief stint at henry kissinger's consulting firm, geithner never worked in the private sector. yet the rumors persisted. he was one of them, a banker. he's even been misidentified as a goldman sachs alum. >> people called you a banker when, in fact, you had never worked in a bank in your life. but i think most people knew you were a republican. >> i was. i wouldn't say an actively political republican, but when i came out of college at that time, i was somewhat at the conservative end, certainly on economic policy. and i guess on foreign policy issues, too. i was sort of in the realist tradition of foreign policy. >> and did you feel like the world changed, did you change, or did you just go into treasury as an impartial civil servant? >> i definitely went in as sort of a non-political civil servant, definitely. and i think mostly what happened
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is the american politics changed, and so much of the conservative movement moved very far to the right. so over time, i felt more comfortable in the approach to policy that president clinton and president obama embraced. >> you' were not the star student, you weren't even particularly good at economics, though you did well. what do you think explains your trajectory or success? >> i'm sure it's inexplicable. i grew up overseas. it's an interesting way to watch your country and learn about your country looking at it from outside, and i could see the huge effect america had on the world, mostly for goods sometimes. sometimes not so much. and i wanted to have a chance to play a role in affecting the choices america made and that's what drew me in to public life, but i didn't go in as a banker, economist or lawyer in the classic ways. >> he also went against convention when he interviewed
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for the job as treasury secretary. he says he urged then-senator obama not to choose him. his mentor, robert rubin, the treasury secretary under president clinton, spoke to obama. >> robert rubin told the president that you were in articulate, and in his job interview, the president says to you, rubin says you're in articulate. what do you have to say about this? and you say, he's right and it's worse than you think. >> it was. i didn't ever have high expectations that there was a way to make what was necessary understandable. >> geithner felt he did not have a reassuring presence, something the country needed from the person in charge of its finances. he was president of the new york fed when lehman brothers collapsed. he was a political albatross, geithner told obama. there were better people for the job. why when he ultimately took the job, it didn't take long for geithner to feel conflicted. in his third day as secretary,
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he was walking into his first one-on-one meeting with the president when an activist stopped him and told him he was going to denounce him to the press. >> and you said, i'm not saying anything about this, so the president said what he was going to say, and as you say, you watched uncomfortably. why were you uncomfortable about criticizing executive in competence? >> at that point i felt like my job was to get the economy growing again and make sure we had finances in place to make that happen instead of continuing to crush the economy. i felt that was my principal responsibility and i wasn't going to be able to help much in trying to ease the understandable public anger because of the tragic damage of the crisis. i was sitting next to the president of the united states, a very talented order, and i
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felt like he would be better doing that than me. >> in the end, geithner suggests, that he was never able to make the case and lost the american public. >> do you feel like people would never understand this, that you're stuck with this image of having been the guy who bailed out the banks? >> i don't know that you can ever change that perspective, because the core of what you need to do in this context is going to look unfair, and how can you convince people it could have been worse? americans had no memory of the great depression. it's hard to -- barney francs said once it's hard to run on the platform, that things could have been worse, hard to convince people. so those two things make it hard. the reason i wrote this book is i thought it would be fair to give people a better feel for why we made the choices we made, and they don't necessarily need to agree with us. >> up next, why geithner and his boss, president obama, felt that baling out the bankers was the right thing to do. of complete darkness.
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od. helping the world keep promises. and we are back with more of my conversation with former treasury secretary tim geithner. so the strategy that you adopted has often been criticized, it was criticized at the time and it's criticized in retrospect as baling out wall street at the expense of main street. what do you say? >> it's a common perception, and it's a completely understandable perception, because what you have to do to protect the economy, the country, the average person running a business or just trying to keep their job in a classical
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financial panic feels deeply unfair. it's counter-intuitive, and that's because the central parallel then is making sure you prevent the collapse. think of the banking system as the power grid. it's like a vital, essential thing, and what you saw in the great depression and you saw in countries since then is that if you let panic escalate and that fire burn too strong, it's devastating. unemployment in the great depression went to 25%. it fell by 25%. it took like a decade to begin the haeal the damage. so the counter-intuitive thing, what felt unfair but what was essential in a classic panic is you had to act incredibly aggressive to make sure you helped that loss of damage to the power grid. >> geithner understands the outrage to the moral fundamental list, as he calls them.
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some even wanted old testament vengeance to the bankers who set the fire in 2008. according to some, the arsonists got bailouts, but geithner says don't mistake this as sympathy to the bankers. >> we didn't do it because we had any interest of protecting people on wall street for the errors of their mistakes, we did it because it was the only way we could protect the average person from mass unemployment. >> still, geithner acknowledges that a conflicted obama administration never mastered the politics, never learned to adeptly navigate the populist anger. and if the american public felt washington was coddliing wall street, geithner knew he was seen as the chief. he didn't think they could stop aig from paying out $50 million in bonuses after they had
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rescued the insurance giant from bankruptcy. >> someone like elizabeth warren says if you look at the banks, they were much tougher on creditors in general. understanding you had to save the financial system, you could have been tougher on the banks. >> i have a lot of respect for her and i listened to that perspective, but i think it's a deeply mistaken perspective on what it takes in a crisis. you wouldn't want to go back and listen to the great depression and try to replicate that outcome for the average person. what we did was try to go directly into the economy to limit the tax cuts and unemployment scale. what we did was relative to those terms. great credit to the president. that was massive in its overall capacity. ultimately, we would have liked it to be sustained longer and larger, but in the beginning it was larger than what roosevelt did in relative terms exacti il
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for the reasons anybody would want. >> larger than fdr did, but large enough? geithner wrote that it sometimes felt like they were fighting world war iii with general washington's army. and yet, geithner says, the united states is almost on the road to recovery. >> i think it's a much stronger economy today even more than it was in the crisis, and i think in many ways the basic productive capacity in the american economy are intact and very strong today. >> so critics would argue that this is the weakest recovery since the great depression, so in 60 or 70 years, that much of that weakness has to do with what the wall street journal editorializes often, because of all the burdens that the obama administration put on it.
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what do you say to them? >> we definitely brought some substantial changes to the economics of the financial system. and those were disruptive, and they definitely changed the economics. but that was a necessary thing to do. if you look at the american economy today, you're going to see it gradually strengthen the economy, and we should see not just unemployment fall further, but we should see income growth improve for a broader faction of americans. and that's, again, i believe because we adopted a dramatically different strategy into our crisis that had been the pattern of governments, really, across decades and decades. >> as for his own legacy, that will likely be judged on how the new post-crisis system, the one he helped create, withstands the next crisis. for now, geithner, who left public office in 2013, is president of warburg pinkess, a private equity firm. as to what his future holds behind that?
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well, he's pretty clear of what he doesn't want to do. >> you're out of the spotlight. if the fed job came up six years from now, would you take it? >> i think i've had my time in public life. i often told the president we're a nation of 3 million people -- 300 million people, excuse me, and i feel like i've had my share of consequential jobs in public life. >> tim geithner, glad to have you. >> nice to see you. >> the public may not be completely out of the woods yet, but keep in mind the united states financial system has recovered better than europe's, for instance. unemployment in the eurozone still hovers around 12%. that's higher than at the peak of the american recession. as for that unpopular federal bailout, it turns out that u.s. taxpayers have actually made a $30 billion profit, according to a pro public estimate. geithner has suffered some political damage, but warren
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buffett calls him one of the heroes of the economic pearl harbor that was the financial crisis. next on gps, have you ever wanted to erase parts of your past? well, a court in europe has just granted permission for people to do just that to the delight of some and the horror of others. i'll explain. mercedes-benz? what does it mean to drive as far as you want... for up to three years and be covered? it means your odometer... is there to record the memories. during the mercedes-benz certified pre-owned sales event now through june 2nd, you'll get complimentary pre-paid maintenance and may qualify for a two-month payment credit. only at your authorized mercedes-benz dealer.
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now for our "what in the world" segment. do you have something in your past that you would rather forget, a youthful indiscretion that led to a run-in with the police, perhaps? a debt that you forgot to pay, maybe? how about a quickie marriage one night in vegas that ended in a quickie divorce? in the internet age, these are the types of things that can now live forever. except, perhaps, if you live in the european union. let me explain. this week the eu's highest court decided that parts of your past have a right to be forgotten on the internet. it is a ruling that effectively
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censor sr censors things on google. a man sued google because mentions of his name turned up in articles that mentioned his debts. he argued that this infringed on both his dignity and his privacy. on tuesday, the luxembourg-based department of justice agreed. they have to stop leaking people, they said. under the right to be forgotten principle, if you live in one of the eu's 20-member states, you will be able to remove links to your past. you have to meet the bar that the court set, that the information is inadequate, irrelevant or outdated. rules are different if you are a public figure or if the information is in the public interest. the landmark announcement has pleased privacy activists, but it has left critics reeling that
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it is a violation of free speech. as for google, it found the ruling disappointing and is analyzing its implications. it could be very expensive for internet companies. for now it mostly affects just google. the search engine accounts for 90% of web searches in the european union. how it works in practice is still to be ironed out. google has since received requests from a politician wanting to remove articles about his behavior in office and from a doctor seeking to delete on-line reviews. another aspect of this to consider, we have edward snowden to thank for this in similar rulings. the eu is currently overhauling its data protection laws inspired partly by snowden's revelations of america's extensive electronic spine program. the real problem here is this. the culling of information likely cannot all be done by humans. remember, google executes nearly
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12 billion searches a month, and can an algorithm really find the delicate balance between personal privacy and the public interest between what's convenient and what's inaccurate? i would think not. european courts have historically favored privacy rights while the american courts hold the sacrumsanct, but 86% of americans have taken measures to mask their digital footprints, according to the pugh research center. so we will have to come up with some rules on the road to make people feel secure about their privacy, but let's make sure we don't undermine and erode the things that have made the internet such a transforming feature of modern life, its universality and its openness. we'll link to this segment on our website. if you are on the eu, please do not request to have it deleted. next on gps, look up.
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it's a bird, it's a plane. no, it's a drone. some of the scary and ubiquitous future of drones, when we come back. ♪ tum, tum tum tum... tums! my lenses have a sunset mode. and an early morning mode. and a partly sunny mode. and an outside to clear inside mode. new transitions® signature™ adaptive lenses now have chromea7™ technology making them more responsive than ever to changing light. so life can look more vivid and vibrant. why settle for a lens with one mode. experience life well lit. upgrade your lenses to new transitions® signature™.
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a week ago today, the supreme leader of iran,
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ayatollah khamenei had an appropriate meeting with a drone. they had copied that american drone that crashed in iran in 2011 and an official eiranian news report said they would be able to attack u.s. warships. whether they're bluffing or not remains in question. it is the subject of a book of well-known terrorist official, clark. he joins me to talk about the pressure of these killing machines. richard clark, pleasure to have you on. >> good to be here. >> so your book as a central aspect, a drone strike, and then the sense of vengeance that one of the people who was associated with it, one of the targets who survives, ends up having.
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it raises this fundamental question that we deal with in yemen and pakistan and afghanistan. are the drone strikes worth it? or is the sense of rage, outrage, the collateral casualties, does that outweigh the benefit of getting this one guy? >> we unleashed the drone program to get one guy, bin laden. that didn't work, but the idea was to have a very restricted list of very senior people. and it did kind of work for that. we had nothing else that worked. so if you put yourself into the mind of the counter terrorism official in the novel or in reality, the counter-terrorism official feels the weight of the world on his or her shoulders. they have to stop the next attack, they have to save the looif lives of americans. they look at their quiver and there are very few arrows that
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work. and the drones did. so there begins to be an addiction. did that work? it worked to kill him. let's do it some more. well, maybe we should broaden the definition of what we're going to kill. then you end up, as we are today, having killed probably 2500 people in five countries. ask they all have friend. they all have family, they all have tribe. and when a program gets that big, it also becomes a phenomenon in and of itself. so you get protests in the street about the drone program. >> you raise another issue in the book which, again, seems to meet part of a very interesting real-life discussion. the whole book is like that, but one that struck me, in your version, the terrorist organizations are becoming drug cartels and the drug cartels are becoming terrorist organizations that, you know, partly began as a necessary way of financing
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because the u.s. and other allies have essentially cut off terrorist financing, so effectively, the only way to make money is to go into the drug trade. how real is that? >> that's very real, and it's hizbollah as well. and it's gangs and cartels and tribes in afghanistan and pakistan that affiliate with the taliban. they're making hundreds of millions of dollars and stashing it in dubai and other places. so it's both terrorists financing themselves and drug cartels engaging in associations with terrorists. >> you talk about the fact that this technology is going to be more widely available, and so we better be careful. give us a sense. we've heard this for a while. how close are we to china in significant ways using drones? >> china is using drones today, they're just not killing people with them.
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they have a drone that looks remarkably like the predator, and i suspect it's probably based on predator drawings that they hacked and stole, as they do so often. there are probably 40 nations now that have drones. three that i know of have used them in lethal operations. >> so these are armed drones now? >> there are three countries that have used armed drones, russia, united states and israel. there are 40-something countries that have drones that could easily put weapons on them. now there are companies and local governments, and in the united states it's become a real issue because there are thousands of people who have bought drones skpand want to us them for real estate purposes and advertising purposes, and the government says you can't fly below 40 feet. we're going to see drones as more and more part of our everyday life as we go forward.
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>> so we clearly need rules about surveillance drones, and that's a national issue, my guess is, but at an international level, do you think we could come up with some kind of international treaty that sets out exactly what the rights and responsibilities are? otherwise, as you point out, we have killed 2,500 people in five countries without any kind of progressional declaration of war, without even the indication of some kind of presidential war power. >> if we establish some international norm and said, you can do this but you can't do that. if we were the leader of that effort, it would be rather ironic because we would be the only ones that violated those international norms. >> mr. clark, pleasure to have you on. >> thank you. next on gps, just who are the chinese and what are their ambitions? that nation of 300 billion people is certainly not monolithic. we will take you inside china when we come back. ♪ norfolk southern what's your function? ♪
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the communist party? are they poor farmers or risch businesspeople with very few in between? are they really good at math? of course not, but my next guest goes much deeper into who today's chinese really are, what their dreams are. it's his new book "age of ambiti ambition, chasing fortune, truth and faith in new china." he's now based in washington for the same magazine. evan, you say it's easy to understand china if you can imagine the guilded age in china? >> it's true. if you make a comparison to the united states experience, we're living in america through 1990. we were coming back from the civil war which in china's case means the french revolution, putting the country back together again. we laid railroad tracks in the united states. china has built more high-speed rail than the united states
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combined. it means you're generating huge amounts of wealth and it's going into some people's hands and not into others. >> the real story of your book is the rise of chinese individualism, right? >> that's right. what interested me most was the china i had always studied, for instance, in the united states and when i went over there, everything i read was about these broad strokes, about economic change and the police forces, about one-fifth of humanity and what was happening to them. when you got on the ground, you discovered that people had the most private changes in their lives that really mattered to them. >> the way they're trying to change and individualize themselves is by getting rich. >> the first thing people wanted to do was get rich. that's the most basic human instinct when people have lived in poverty. as they got settled they needed to know who was setting the rules. they needed to know about politics and policy, and that kind of set off a search for information. that's why you've seen this
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incredible investigation agency over the last 20 years. there are great journalists doing work on the web. >> people think of china as a closed society with a closed media, but you point out that actually, as long as you're not talking kind of high politics, which is the legitimacy of the communist party, there is a lot of journalism going on in china. >> there is a huge amount of journalism going on. i wrote about a woman named hi shi li, and when she began, she learned there was this huge story about chinese economy, who was winning and who was losing, and she discovered that if she wrote it just right, she could get away with it. it's like hitting the ping-pong ball on the table and getting the points without missing the table entirely. that's transformative.
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>> one thing i'm struck by the chinese when i go there, urban experiences by and large, is how materialistic the culture has become. how individualistic, materialistic, how obsessed with brands. if you go to the national museum in b in beijing you'll see mostly tourists, but if you go to the local store, it's all chinese. is there a feeling that maybe we've overdosed on materialism? >> there is. there's been a remarkable shift over the last few years. when you sit around the dinner table with successful chinese middle class strivers five years ago, everyone wanted to talk about real estate or travel, where they were going. today they want to talk about who is your guru, who are you reading about these days? there are these bigger questions, deeper questions. in the book i call it the quest for faith.
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in china today there are as many christians as there are members of the democratic party. there is this enormous sense that they're trying to figure out what they believe in as individuals and what they believe in as a society. they worry that the united states will search for what it ultimately means to be chinese. >> in america we have a tendency to get interested in countries only if we get scared. devil's dictionary says war is god's way of teaching americans geography. when you look at china, do you say to americans, you know, this is a country that is more worrying, scarier, different, what? >> what i am most struck by is there is a gap between what's going on at the ecopolitical level, the conversation between the united states and china, which, by the way, is getting tense. it's about the possibility of conflict, for instance, over territory.
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if you get onto the ground and you move into a chinese neighborhood and you live there for a long time and you talk to people, you find out that the things they talk about are very similar to the things we talk about in the united states. the gap in opportunity, the ability to be able to ed indicate your children and be able to get your parents hooi health care, for instance. what's amazing is how similar our lives are becoming at a time when our governments find it more difficult to talk to each other. so my goal is to help people understand what it actually feels like it be chinese because it's not as foreign as you might think. >> in order to do that, you have to read his book. thank you very much. up next, what is the least anti-semitic place to live? jordan? the political territories? we will tell you on the other side of the break. with premium service like one of the best on-time delivery
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the anti-defamation league, an organization that fights anti-s anti-semitism, released results this week that asked respondents in more than 100 countries about their views on jews and judism. it turned out 26% harbored
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anti-semitic jews. that brings me to my question of the week. what is the least anti-semitic place in the u.s. and south africa, according to the poll? a, palestinian territories, b, jordan, c, iran, d, egypt. stay tuned and we will tell you the correct answer. this week's book of the week is timothy geithner's "stress test." it is surprisingly frank, surprisingly well written, and all in all, the most intelligent defense of the obama administration's handling of the financial crisis. it's also a very human account of someone at the highest levels of government in a time of extreme crisis. and now for the last look. here at gps we love huge deep data dives. we also revel in the fact that america is the huge pot it has always been.
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so we were anxious to analyze the language spoken in each state using u.s. census data. this first map is predictable. other than english, spanish is the most spoken language in almost all u.s. states. but watch what happens when you remove spanish from the equation. now there is the melting pot. in michigan, arabic clocks in as the most spoken language. it's russian. it's vietnamese in texas, oklahoma and washington. it's gaelic in nevada. in four states it's native american language, it's french in four states and in 16 states it's german. if you're surprised by that number, according to countries of ancestry, people of german heritage outnumber all other groups in the united states, even irish. until the first world war by
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some accounts, german was the second most widely spoken language in all of the united states. that lingers. there are other cool maps on the same page. check it out. the correct answer to our gps challenge question was c. iran was the least anti-semitic country in the middle east and north africa. the persian nation is 60% anti-semitic, but the least of all the rest. the palestinian territories were the most in the area and the world coming in at 93%. a close second, iraq at 92%. as for the least anti-semitic country in the world, apparently it is laos. one programming note before we go, if you haven't had enough of me, i will be on john oliver's great new show "last week tonight" on hbo airing sunday here in out nithe united states. tune in.
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thank you all for being a part of my program this week. i will see you next week. good morning. i'm erin mcpike and here are some of the big stories we're following this area. some of those raging fires in southern california could be completely detained by the end of the day. cooler temperatures and anti-humidity are helping firefighters make tremendous progress battling the flames and that is bringing a lot home today. firefighters say they're going to do as much as they can while conditions are good. >> we have crews still in all areas of this fire that are cleaning up areas where there is still some hot spots. we had some infrared flyovers that we're mapping out as far as the areas of greatest concern. obviously the winds can pick up at any moment, and what we want to do is try to get it while the winds are calming down. >> at&t is meeting with directv today on a potential merger. according to a person with
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direct knowledge of the meeting, that deal could be announced as early as this afternoon. and if it's approved, at&t will buy directv for about $50 billion. this comes a few months after another big telecom deal when comcast announced it was buying time warner cable. i'm erin mcpike in washington. "reliable sources" starts right now. good morning from washington. it's time for a jack-packed "reliable sources." . i'm brian seltzer, and robin roberts is here talking openly with me about some things she hasn't talked about before. i think her candor will surprise you. let's begin with this week's pr disaster as the most powerful newspaper in this country, the "new york times." there are new developments and i'll get to that in a second. the times newspaper is in a real turmoil after the firing of top editor jill abramson. people there are stunned. she is the